Seventy-eight sites were visited and 68 contraventions have been identified so far in relation to handling and storage of dangerous goods as WorkSafe and EPA blitz on industrial sites in West Footscray continues.
The blitz was in response to community concerns following a factory fear near Somerville Rd. last week (read SafetyCulture report).
Many of the notices were for issues like inadequate placarding or labelling, incompatible storage, poorly maintained dangerous goods manifests or lack of fire protection reports.
“So far, most of the sites we have visited have tended to have smaller amounts of chemicals on site and the issues have been around the storage and handling of those, rather than the quantities they are storing,” said WorkSafe Regional Operations Manager Ian Matthews.
“While many sites were compliant, sites with poor dangerous good storage practices have attracted multiple notices requiring them to correct various issues.
“The results are disappointing. Any dangerous goods stored or handled incorrectly pose a serious risk to workers and the general public.
“The safety of employees at these sites – and the general public – remains our number one priority.
“Inspectors will continue their work in this area for at least another week.
EPA Manager Resource Recovery Audit Taskforce, Danny Childs said the blitz should serve as a reminder to businesses that non-compliant practices will have consequences.
“With such a high density of heavy industries in the west, EPA will look for more ways to increase the local community’s protection from environmental harms from risks and hazards,” said Mr. Childs.
Mr. Childs said they are working closely with WorkSafe to ensure potentially dangerous chemicals were being stored correctly.
“The EPA and WorkSafe work very closely together on a range of projects and we want to send a very clear message to all industry that compliance is a safety matter that is taken extremely seriously,” he said.
The inspections will continue into next week. These inspections are in addition to the 500 strategic inspections that WorkSafe will conduct across the state this financial year to evaluate the storage, handling and transport of dangerous goods.